Presentation Title

Airpark Lagoon Breach - Restoring Habitat Connectivity for Fish

Session Title

Bringing Communities Together to Embark on Major Estuarine Restoration

Conference Track

Protection, Remediation and Restoration

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (2016 : Vancouver, B.C.)

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type of Presentation

Oral

Abstract

The Courtenay River channel is located in the K’ómoks Estuary on the eastern side of Vancouver Island. Much of the tidal salt marsh area in the channel was filled in and developed through the mid-1900’s, including diking of a 4 hectare area for the creation of a sewage lagoon in 1963. The loss of tidal salt marsh and changes in flow dynamics impacted the suitability of the area to support rearing and refuge for juvenile salmonids.

The Comox Valley Project Watershed Society undertook a project to breach the lagoon dike with a large multi-plate aluminium culvert in order to reconnect the Courtenay River through the upper end of the lagoon to the estuary. Reconnecting river flow through the lagoon provides a flushing and nutrient circulating function that partially restores the original flow dynamics, thereby improving the lagoon habitat for fish. In particular juvenile salmonids will benefit from the improved and accessible habitat for rearing, foraging and refuge.

Preliminary results indicate increases in usage patterns by wildlife, specifically fish and birds.

Salt marsh habitat restoration was a component of the work undertaken and the project featured strong community engagement with stewardship groups and the local First Nation.

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

Type

Text

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Airpark Lagoon Breach - Restoring Habitat Connectivity for Fish

2016SSEC

The Courtenay River channel is located in the K’ómoks Estuary on the eastern side of Vancouver Island. Much of the tidal salt marsh area in the channel was filled in and developed through the mid-1900’s, including diking of a 4 hectare area for the creation of a sewage lagoon in 1963. The loss of tidal salt marsh and changes in flow dynamics impacted the suitability of the area to support rearing and refuge for juvenile salmonids.

The Comox Valley Project Watershed Society undertook a project to breach the lagoon dike with a large multi-plate aluminium culvert in order to reconnect the Courtenay River through the upper end of the lagoon to the estuary. Reconnecting river flow through the lagoon provides a flushing and nutrient circulating function that partially restores the original flow dynamics, thereby improving the lagoon habitat for fish. In particular juvenile salmonids will benefit from the improved and accessible habitat for rearing, foraging and refuge.

Preliminary results indicate increases in usage patterns by wildlife, specifically fish and birds.

Salt marsh habitat restoration was a component of the work undertaken and the project featured strong community engagement with stewardship groups and the local First Nation.